The north and south sides of the Deh Cho Bridge are now bolted together, providing a year-round link over the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence, N.W.T.

Crews aligned the two spans on Sunday. The south side of the bridge had to be pushed out by machinery to meet the north side.

"For a long time they were a metre apart," said project manager Kevin McLeod. "Then they got within 24 millimetres, which is an inch. Then the last little bit was to manoeuvre it into space. Then as soon as the first couple of bolts are in place, it gives the contractor and the bridge men in place a lot more security and safety."

The work was scheduled to be completed a month ago, but McLeod said they had to wait for ideal weather.

"We were monitoring the wind — there was a wind factor — and if the weather showed that it was going to be too high we'd have to pull the bridge back and we'd lose another month," said McLeod.

He said the contractor can now work on several sections of the bridge at once and possibly make up for some lost time.

The steel span is about 25 metres over the river and it needs to be lowered down onto the piers. The next step will be to erect a second pylon, put up cables and begin work on the deck.

McLeod said they still hope the bridge will be open in November.